|It is a rare event when a politician speaks out against the policies of their peers in another country, but the UK Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, has voiced her concerns about the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).|
She spoke of the ban as some sort of 'modern day form of prohibition'.
Ms Jowell also expressed her concern that this law could foster exploitation and fraud, sending the industry underground, and likened it to the alcohol ban in the US at the turn of the last century. Offshore sites could become the 'modern equivalent of speakeasies', illegal bars which opened in 1920s America when alcohol was banned.
Ms Jowell again reiterated that the UK has proven that legalisation and control of the online gambling works. She will be hosting a summit on online gambling next week, with politicians from 30 countries discussing how to achieve international regulations.